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Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2006

The winner of the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2006 was announced in London on 22 March: Robert Adams was awarded this major prize for contemporary photography. More than 200 guests attended the award ceremony at the Photographers’ Gallery in London. Adams' award was picked up by Gerry Badger, a writer and longtime friend of the photographer. Robert Adams donated his £30,000 prize money to the charity Human Rights Watch.

The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2006 exhibition with works by four shortlisted photographers was shown at the Photographers' Gallery in London, C/O Berlin and the Deutsche Börse Group headquarters in Frankfurt.

The shortlist for this major international Photography Prize consisted of Robert Adams, Yto Barrada, Phil Collins and Alec Soth. The winner received £30,000; the other shortlisted photographers were awarded £3,000 each.

The Jury members were: Brett Rogers, chair, Director of The Photographers’ Gallery (London), Thomas Demand, artist (Berlin), Emma Dexter, Curator, Tate Modern (London), Regis Durand, Director, Jeu de Paume (Paris) and Anne-Marie Beckmann, Curator, Art Collection Deutsche Börse (Frankfurt).

The Shortlist

Robert Adams (b.1937, USA) was shortlisted for his exhibition Turning Back, A Photographic Journal of Re-exploration at Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany. Adams’s delicate silver-gelatin prints, taken between 1999 and 2003, are an exploration of the topography of the north-western United States, as it changes from the Pacific Coast to the open planes of eastern Oregon. For over 40 years, Adams’s photographs have documented the impact industrial development has had on the landscape of the American West, where he grew up and still lives. Inspired by the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition between 1804 and 1806, Turning Back offers a personal and unsparing look at how a landscape has been scarred by de-forestation, industrial development and human habitation.

Image: A stump next to Oregan Highway 47, Columbia County

Yto Barrada (b. 1971, Morocco) was shortlisted for the exhibition A Life Full of Holes – the Strait Project at Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool. This photography project poetically explores issues of migration, Diaspora, access and exclusion. Over the last 15 years, the Strait of Gibraltar has become one of the main gateways for illegal immigration. Barrada’s photographs, taken between 1998 and 2004, capture the temptations of leaving, and the unfulfilled hopes of escaping across the Strait into Europe. Living and working in both Paris and Tangier, Barrada’s parallel experience of these cities informs her photographic practice, and also defies the aesthetic fetishism that has long characterised western representations of the Arab world.

Image: Girl in red, playing jacks, Tangier (1999)

Phil Collins (b.1970, UK) was shortlisted for his exhibition yeah…..you, baby you at Milton Keynes Gallery, UK. Collins’s work has always involved various forms of creative expression, including photography, video, music, participatory events and orchestrated meetings. His projects are often the culmination of a prolonged period of contact between the artist and the individuals pictured in his work. While dealing with some of the most extreme human situations and experiences, Collins’s work also has a strong element of humor and energy. Through choreographing seemingly playful scenarios, and inviting his subjects to actively participate in the creative process of representation, Collins’s practice subtly challenges the documentary medium while retaining an incisive political and social dimension.

Image: dünya dinlemiyor

Alec Soth(b.1969, USA) was shortlisted for his exhibition Sleeping by the Mississippi at Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool, UK. Between 1999 and 2004, Soth undertook several trips following the trail of the Mississippi River from Minnesota south to Louisiana. Photographing the people and landscapes he encountered resulted in a methodical as well as deeply personal and poetic photographic travelogue. The mythology of this river has inspired artists, writers and musicians for decades and Soth offers his own poignant and compelling view of this place and its inhabitants. Like a series of lyrical fragments all linked by the trail of the river, Soth carries on the tradition of the itinerant documentary photographer in a new and refreshing way.

Image: Charles, Vasa, Minnesota

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